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Dear Doctors, “Say goodbye [to each Patient] using their first name and smile.”

Dear Doctors,  

True Story; Sept. 2019; Credit: Concierge Medicine Today

I met a Doctor by accident this week in a parking lot of all places. Probably an unusual place to find him but he knew who I was and he stopped his brisk walk to chat as I was walking in.

He said to me, “I stay out here for a while before I start my day because I’m never ready to go in there [the building].”

He continued to add that his days are long and he’s just drained, fatigued and his kids miss him. He enjoys his work but he says he can’t manage his time well and his staff knows how to take advantage of him. He uses his small moments of time in the parking lot before he enters the office to walk around the parking lot and motivate himself [his words, not mine …] and find a little respite for the long work day and many personalities he faces inside.

This week, we start with the end in mind.

As you know, we’ve been discussing lately the importance of creating an environment with your Patients that removes distractions in your medical office or suite. To make this happen, you need to be bothered by clutter and have systems and a great staff training process in place. I’m a Patient and I visit a lot of great offices and some not so great as you can imagine. You’re heard and read many of these stories I’m sure. But, there are some simple ways to interact with your Patients, which I learned from reading books about customer service, listening to you and from your shared experiences.

What you can do or try today~or Monday Morning Application!

  1. Greet the Patient and say their first name and smile. They might just smile back.
  2. Do not interrupt. Just listen. Then, listen some more, asking questions and respond thoughtfully, not with small quips or more biting questions.
  3. Mind your tone.
  4. Say goodbye using their first name and smile.

I know what you’re thinking. “That’s it? That seems so simple.”


And you’re right. That’s the application of it. When it comes to retraining and communicating with a Patient, learn best by getting advice from your next Patient. Then, the next Patient after that and the next one after that. Each interaction that goes you may get better. You won’t get it right all at one time, just try to get it right the next time, and then the next time and so on.

Remember, Simple wins.

The goal is not perfection when it comes to the Patient Experience of visiting a Doctor’s office, but progress.

But don’t miss this one key ingredient.

It shows up in Steps 1 and 4. It’s “their name.” One of the key communication components the Ritz Carlton uses to train their staff is to say the name of the guest at least twice.

Try it on your next Patient. Why? Because every Patient you know loves hearing their name said and this creates a welcoming, personal and hospitable interaction with them.

These simple wins, or Steps 1-2-3-4 is a method you can easily adopt in your medical office or at your next exam room interaction. It won’t take long but it can have a big impact.

What other systems are you implementing to serve guests better? What system do you need to rethink?

Come learn more with me about communication, operational business insight, Concierge Medicine growth strategies and so much more this Sept 2020 (dates/times coming soon!). Go to:

Keep up the great work!

Most Sincerely,

See you this fall!


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